More good cyclist stuff

Christian Vande Velde is riding with CSC and Ivan Basso, and keeping a sporadic diary over at VeloNews. Good stuff. And interestingly enough, the Dave he’s talking about (Zaberski) won today’s time-trial stage pretty handily, becoming one of a handful of Americans to do anything worthwhile at the Giro.

Allez Allez Allez!

Came home after lunch today. Baby was down for a nap, boy was having a little quiet time since he was a bit cranky, and my lovely wife said “Hey, why don’t you take out the bike?” So I say … Well, I didn’t say anything, since I was OUT THE DOOR!

Headed up Pumpkin Hill Road towards Ledyard. Great temps, grey skies with sun breaks and occasional sprinkles. Rain that probably shouldn’t even be called rain – it barely even spotted the pavement.

In any case, it felt like I was hammering. Uphill for a couple miles; hung a right when Pumpkin Hill ran into Shewsville Road, and a left at Town something road, just before I got to the elementary school.

WOW! So I’d been going up-hill, right? Pretty consistently for a couple miles. The road was downhill, like steep enough to ski down; twisty, and probably 3/4 of a mile long. Man. Honestly, there were a couple of places where I was laying on the breaks out of fear of dashing my head upon a stone wall. Very nice; can’t wait to run it again.

That wasn’t quite all. Turned north again on some road I can’t recall, and continued on. Hit a relatively well traveled road, turned east and hit another HUGE climb. Dadgum. Almost clipped out to walk for a while, but ended up dragging myself up, without even bailing out to the 25 cog. I didn’t get to enjoy the downhill like I should have, since I wasn’t sure where the turn back south towards the house was going to be. Made it almost all the way to the casino – not a bad ride.

The road back south (Long Pond / Lantern Hill road) was all that and a bag of chips. The whole thing is along a couple of lakes sitting down in a valley that the glaciers gouged out 20,000 years ago, and features about a half mile or so on a cliff overlooking the lake. Very, very nice.

The ride back to the house was good but tough. There wasn’t a lot of wind, but enough to be apparent. Nonetheless, I was pushing, flying, and generally amazed at the sustained effort I was able to generate. When I was almost back, I hung a right, and kind of jogged northwest to add another couple miles. Great decision – the road kind of opened up into pasture land – verdant green, horses, good stuff.

Spring’s a hoot. I’d never really noticed before, but spring’s kind of like fall in reverse. As the leaves start coming out, there’s pale reds, yellows, greens – very nice. And it’s getting to the point where there’s an entire spectrum, separate from the regular spectrum that consists only of shades of green.

Great ride.

Next week should be fun. Work is going to be tough, but I need to put a couple of tough days in tomorrow and Tuesday, run easy on Wednesday, and either rest or ride easy so I can keep up with TRCWTOH and April-Anne on Friday. I’m psyched.